I danced with my sons to some Doobie Brothers whilst my littlest one ran circles, screaming “no tires, only GAS!!!!” For a good half hour, this went on.

These are the moments that bring me to tears.

I remember things like this with my others, the other splinters of my heart.

Bubbles on a lakeside and fake vegan hot dogs with some mildly degenerate Austinites and my oldest.

Spinning circles and circles at a blues festival with my next youngest girl, both of us wearing rainbows.

Communing at a roadside peach stand with my biggest boy while he hid, calm and still inside me, almost two weeks past his due date.

Sitting still, still as mice. Calming the storms that raged in my foster sons, giving words to their fears. Stomping out the monsters.

Singing “Sweet Baby James” one million times to my tiny one, making promises I prayed to keep against his tiny scalp.

These are the moments we live for. The things we drink inside us, if we’re smart. They are fleeting, and they are small.

But they make the sum of our parts. They’re the major equation to the whole of who we are. They are the end, and, the beginning.